5 thoughts Lorne Greene had when Bonanza was canceled

Greene had mixed emotions about the cancelation, and just like Ben, he always spoke his mind.

When a television show ends, it can be a bittersweet feeling for the cast, crew and fans. For Lorne Greene, there were mixed emotions about Bonanza being canceled. The show lasted for 14 seasons, keeping viewers interested in the lives of the Cartwrights through 432 episodes.

There were a few changes during its time on air, which is typical for shows that have been on for over a decade. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times News Service in 1972, Greene revealed how he felt before and after learning about NBC's decision to end the show.

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1. The cancelation was sudden.

Although the show lasted 14 seasons, its cancelation was still sudden for Greene. In the interview, he said, "It was the suddenness with which it happened. It leaves you with a kind of jet lag. It means that I have to think about decisions that I didn't expect to have to face for months. And I'm not ready to think about them." His daughter once asked why he was still at home because, usually, he was on location filming for the show, and he didn't know what to say.

Yet, he wasn't entirely out of work. Greene was far from jobless to be exact.

2. As an actor, the show ending was a great thing.

Again, there are mixed emotions about saying farewell to a show you've spent years working on. Greene loved working with his castmates, but he knew the cancelation was "the best thing that could happen to [him] as an actor."

The actor had a plate full of opportunities with a world premiere movie with Universal, his annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hosting with Betty White, documentary narrations with NBC, and much more.

3. When Dan Blocker died, the Cartwrights were no longer whole.

Losing a castmate is never easy, but it's even harder to continue a show when you consider them family. Dan Blocker died unexpectedly, and producers knew no one else could replace the presence of the original Hoss. Greene knew the show would never be the same, saying, "That's the end of Bonanza."

Everyone described Blocker as the most loveable castmate, and his character, Hoss, was a fan favorite more than the others, including Greene's character Ben Cartwright.

4. The signs were there before the show was canceled.

According to Greene, many changes took place that showed signs of Bonanza being canceled before it actually happened. "The handwriting was on the wall," he said. "They moved us to Tuesday night which is NBC's Siberia. They sold off the old shows into syndication, which meant, in some cases, we were competing with ourselves. There was almost no promotion or advertising when we went on this season, which meant we were written off."

5. It was an opportunity to excel in other areas.

The long Bonanza journey was over, and although Greene loved his time there, the show's ending meant more time to work in other areas. During the interview, he talked about getting into producing but didn't know what content to create.

When asked if he would create "another" Bonanza, he said, "I could do worse." Thinking about his new free time made Greene curious about buying a boat, and he even thought about cruising the Atlantic seaboard down to the Caribbean.

SEE MORE: Lorne Greene revealed the unhappiest role he had to play

"It was horrible. I hated getting up to go to work."

SEE MORE

 
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21 Comments

Concrete64 17 days ago
Great show with a great cast. Earliest television show I can remember my parents watching when I was a kid. Was still on the air by the time I was in Jr. High.
DavidsMuse 19 days ago
Since I was an Adam fan, the Cartwrights weren't whole after S6 AFAIC! I just watched the initial two S14 episodes for the first time since 1972, and not having Adam there and not including him in the pictures of the brothers made me sad. That Joe wasn't allowed to be happy with Alice made me even more sad! 😥
JohnGrant 19 days ago
Probably not unlike the feeling I and others have when they announced the factory is closing. After working there for 8yrs with good and bad, it felt like a slice of life.
tootsieg 20 days ago
Very good article.
All good things come to end. Sunday night was never the same without Ed Sullivan and Bonanza.

MichaelPowers 20 days ago
The sun was setting on television westerns by the 1960's. Audiences were turning away from the genre that had once been so popular & prolific. So no surprise that Bonanza was cancelled, the even longer running Gunsmoke with its 20 seasons would end in 1975. Western movies and TV shows do still periodically pop up now and then. However, they will never be as commonplace as they once were.
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